Ego equals knowledge. This knowledge comes in many forms but the world is mostly concerned with one form and that form is thought. Thought is knowledge of something and this knowledge is applied to everything. This appears to be a vast resource all our knowledge of ourselves, the world, of history, science, philosophy and language have come about through thought. This knowledge indeed seems vast yet what if this knowledge is only 2% of the knowledge available. The body experiences the world through the senses, which can be thought of as sensory information. This sensory information is usually given meaning relating to the 2% or mental part of our computation. The sensory information without the meaning is very ancient and would have begun with the first stirrings of life. The 2% mental computation element is relatively recent yet in the short time since it occurred it has completely swamped the sensory information part of ourselves. Not only has it swamped the sensory part of what we are it now completely dominates that part. We identify with the 2% part of what we are. This is not dissimilar to identifying ourselves with our big toe. This is the major difference between man and all other forms of life. We are dominated and identify with 2% of what we are. All other forms of life are aware of the sensory information which is the remaining 98% and they identify if at all with that. Most humans seem to think that the advantage is with us because we have access to thought knowledge. The truth is that both man and all other forms of life are at a disadvantage in the way we access knowledge. What if the human body and mind were capable of accessing all the knowledge available. This is the next stage of evolution and it is occurring but very, very slowly. The problem is in the nature of belief because belief is taken to be real when it is not. It is possible to have and use knowledge without believing it to be real. Believing knowledge to be real is the cause of all the negative aspects of human behaviour. This can be seen most clearly when we take ourselves too seriously, this seriousness can become anger, rage, depression, greed and many other forms of mental illness. We identify with what we believe and so feel threatened when what we believe is threatened. Fanatics have no sense of humour. When we lose humour we lose our humanity and become capable of any horror. To take the next evolutionary step it is necessary to see that belief can never be real it can however be useful. It is necessary for us to understand this distinction on the deepest possible level. What we believe can never be real, real in the sense of taking our beliefs too seriously. When this is deeply understood all the knowledge we have becomes either useful or not. Sensory knowledge is always useful, that is 98% of the information received through the senses is naturally useful. The remaining 2% of mental knowledge would no longer have the power to do harm. Knowledge in all its forms is ego and knowledge is the same as belief. From this point it can be seen that all that we know or can know is not real. Taking this knowledge to be real is a natural evolutionary mistake and as with other evolutionary mistakes is eventually corrected. This can be seen in the zen statement that in the beginning a mountain is a mountain then it is not a mountain and then it is a mountain again. In the beginning we see the mountain through our senses then at some point we add meaning to what is seen by our senses. Finally the meaning that has been added is seen for what it is, that it may or may not be useful and regardless of its usefulness is ultimately seen as not real. Finally we can see the wonder of what we are and where we are without the need to believe what is seen and this itself is the wonder.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
It is essential that you learn to see any negatives that occur in your mind and apply the following logic. If I am thinking or saying something negative this is proof that what I am thinking or saying is untrue. All negative statements about yourself are untrue they always indicate that we believe something that is not true. We just have to keep applying this logic. If something is untrue it is the same as saying it does not exist. As you notice the negatives in your thinking they will begin to dissolve, only then is it possible to fully connect with your raw physical sensations and then faith is no longer needed. See negative thinking as a trail that will lead you out of the darkness - in that sense it is not negative, without negatives consciousness becomes 'known'. Be clear this is only about being aware of the negative thinking that takes place it is not about analyzing or judging anything. When you notice that a negative thought has occurred leave it at that just notice it, nothing else needs to be done. There is no place for negative thinking, it serves no purpose and in fact the reason we do it is to punish ourselves. This need to punish ourselves usually involves punishing others and this can only be done when we are unconscious of what we are doing. Fear and anxiety thrive on negative thinking and cannot exist without it. This being so it is imperative to learn to focus all our attention on this obvious bull in the china shop. With full attention negative thinking cannot exist - without negative thinking there can be no problem. All suffering arises with the unconscious desire to punish ourselves through the use of negative thinking. All suffering ends when we are able to shine a light on what was in darkness and in so doing make the unconscious conscious.
Friday, 22 November 2013
Where there is life there is mystery. In the beginning this mystery takes the form of fear. And what is it we are afraid of? We are afraid of simple things like the dark - what cannot be seen and what lurks in the dark. What lurks in the dark we learn may hurt us, kill us or kill those we love. We do not know what lurks in the dark except that it is unknown we are surrounded by things to be afraid of. With the dawning of self-consciousness we begin to fight this fear. How? By turning the unknown the mystery into the known. This is a clever trick because all there can ever be is mystery yet nevertheless our task is to turn mystery into the known. The known is invented through language and reason. All language is composed of belief and in belief we are able to pretend that something is known, once this is realised our goal is to know everything and to understand everything through the wonderful invention of belief. Over time we forget the truth, the mystery and we find ourselves completely lost in the known of our own beliefs. Now we find ourselves surrounded by new fears – these are the fears of neurosis, which turns out to be the fear of what is known. No longer are we afraid of the dark now we are afraid that there is something wrong with us and once this is believed we are lost again. Faced with this new fear we can either run away from this fear through drink, drugs, sex, pleasure or the pursuit of more beliefs-knowledge, or finally turn and face the mystery. When we are truly able to do this we find that the known is slowly dissolved until all that is left is mystery and mystery rather than being something to be afraid of becomes the solution to all our fears. Fear can only exist in the mistaken notion that something is known.
Thursday, 11 April 2013
To solve the problem of fear it is necessary to not assume that we know what fear is. In fact this is the problem, we start by assuming we know what fear is. We tell ourselves all the things we are afraid of and exactly how afraid we are of those things. This I think of as knowing too much. It could be said that we know what we do not know. All thinking is knowing what we do not know. A word or a thought can only have meaning when we decide what that meaning is. Language works because of this principle, the words of a language are given meaning and we all agree on the meaning given. This can be useful but it is also possible to forget that the meaning given to words was made up and agreed upon. Words have enormous power when they are believed. This power can be used for great good or great evil. Fear is always the result of believing something to be true that is not true. To be free of fear it is necessary to conceive that this is possible and also to find out precisely what it is we believe that is not true. If we are told as a child that we are not good enough then it is likely we will grow up with this belief and it will rarely be questioned. In fact rather than question this belief we are more likely to reinforce it by repeating it to ourselves and proving to ourselves that it is true. Nothing can be assumed to be true, and if what we believe to be true is in any way negative then that negative is the proof that it is not true. Fear is obviously a negative feeling and so you can be sure it is based on a belief that is not true. Physical feelings I take to be true so long as there is no meaning attached to those feelings. When physical feeling is divested of meaning its true meaning appears. In the case of physical feelings that we usually associate with fear we may find that without meaning these feelings naturally dissipate. We may also find that without meaning what we take to be fearful may be a source of great learning. The difficult part of this process is just the ability to look at these feelings without attaching meaning to them. This usually takes time and practice, it will take less time when the principle is clearly understood. This understanding is very simple - we are the creators of meaning and whatever meaning we create we have to live with. This is optional, we can create meaning or we can-not create meaning. By keeping our attention only on physical feeling we begin to free ourselves of all unnecessary and negative meaning. We are addicted to meaning because this is the mechanism whereby the ego creates the illusion that it exists. The ego does not wish to know that it does not exist and yet because the ego tries so hard to create the illusion that it does exist suggests that the ego itself is not convinced.The problem is circular in that the ego creates fear as a means to prove that it exists and then becomes trapped by that same fear so that living is equated with fear. Fearing that the ego does not exist is the same as the fear of death or non-existence. We get so caught up in this illusory fear that we do not notice what it is we really are. What we really are is consciousness, consciousness comes before fear; fear arises in consciousness and without consciousness fear could not exist. Everything arises in consciousness even the universe but all the things that arise in consciousness are secondary to consciousness itself. The things that arise in consciousness are attractive or they are fearful but either of these are illusory in comparison to consciousness. Consciousness is subtle but what we are attracted to or afraid of is not, so we take the easy road and focus on what is obvious and ignore what is subtle. Free of the obvious we live in the subtle but wondrous world of consciousness.
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
When all negative thinking has been identified as nothing more than false belief what is left is naturally positive. Free of beliefs the mind is naturally loving and compassionate it is only the negative aspects of ego that obscure this fact. On a retreat a woman told me that she thought it very important to be humble and loving I replied that when we try to be humble and loving it is because we feel we are not. The ego is not able to be loving and compassionate but it is able to mimic the appearance of what it thinks is loving and compassionate. The spiritual world of all religions is full of those who think that mimicking love and compassion is the same as being loving and compassionate. It is usually a screen the ego hides behind. Many seekers take it as a sure sign that someone is enlightened if they smile a lot. Love and compassion are natural aspects of consciousness but consciousness has no need to prove that it is loving and compassionate. It is only the ego being deficient of these qualities that needs to prove how loving and compassionate it is. Consciousness is free of all negatives, once this is understood it becomes clear what needs to happen. We need to see clearly every trace of negative thinking, this thinking cannot be removed it can only be seen clearly for what it is – something that is not true or has no basis in reality. When this is seen on a very deep level (not the level of ego) that which obscures consciousness becomes redundant. Negatives obscure consciousness because they carry a negative charge or feeling, this feeling then occupies our attention causing neurosis (thinking about things that are not worth thinking about) while we are doing this consciousness is obscured, it is still there and even the neurotic thinking could not be there without it but our attention is fixated on the negativity and associated physical feeling produced by the ego. We do not need to concern ourselves as to whether or not we are loving and compassionate we just need to identify the negatives. It is helpful to separate the meaning from physical feeling. When we are able to feel what we feel without the usual attached meaning the feeling will naturally fall away as it is in the meaning that the feeling comes to exist in the first place. There is no meaning in consciousness that is to say consciousness is free of meaning. The important principle here is that nothing can be changed except through seeing that which does not exist. If we remove meaning from our minds nothing can be said to exist. I am not suggesting we do this, what is required is only to remove the negatives as it is in the negatives that we find the aspects of the ego that are not practical or useful. The aspects of the ego that are useful do not need thinking about, they are naturally there without the negatives. The ego has a place and could never be removed, it can only be seen for what it is. When we see what the ego is we see the place of the ego and most importantly we see what has no place in the ego. Seeing the ego is possibly the most difficult thing we may ever attempt this is because the ego does not wish to be seen, this is understandable because contained in the ego are all the things we would rather not know about. The ego’s mission is to keep our attention away from these things we would rather not know about. Knowing the things we would rather not know about the ego would lose all of its power, to the ego this is the same as death and it will do anything to preserve itself. The best way for the ego to do this is in neurotic or unnecessary thinking and especially in negative thinking as in negative thinking physical feelings are stirred up that cause us to think more rather than less. The ego does not exist but acts as though it does and to sustain this illusion requires us to think in neurotic and unnecessary ways, it also requires us to create negative stories or drama’s that in turn cause physical feeling to become attached to our stories that then become harder and harder to disentangle.
Sunday, 17 March 2013
As I write this the search for the so - called god particle continues. As I understand it the god particle is the particle that will explain why the universe when looked at very closely seems not to exist at all and yet appears to be solid and real. How is it that something that seems not to exist has the appearance of existing, or if a rock does not exist why does it hurt when someone throws one at me. I thought that this question was about matter and how matter that does not exist seems most conclusively to exist as in the example of the rock or in the way the universe manifests itself. This I feel now is the wrong way to approach this question. There probably is no god particle - what causes the universe to exist in the way it does is more likely to be found in consciousness. Without consciousness there is no universe and no rock to hurt me, and no hurt to be felt. There seems to be an assumption in science that the universe exists regardless of consciousness but without consciousness what appearance would the universe have. Let us leave aside the bigger questions regarding the way in which the universe appears to exist and focus instead on our human experience of how we exist in relation to the universe. It is not that plants, insects, animals and all forms of life are any different from the human form of life in regard to this question it is just that humans seems to be the only species that is interested in these questions. The closest we can come to a god particle will probably be found in the area of belief. Belief is the ingredient that works with consciousness to construct what we feel, what we do, and how the universe and all it contains appears to us. We know that the body, the brain and the sense organs work together to construct what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell. This information is not about what is actually there but an approximation of what is there. This process of constructing workable information about the universe has been proceeding since the earliest forms of life arose. Information is the same as belief because whatever the form of information there is can only have meaning through the operation of belief. These beliefs are not only the obvious beliefs like ‘I believe in god’ they also occur in our ‘knowing the colour red’ or in knowing the sound of a dog barking or anything else that appears to the senses before the thought that tells us we know. Once something is ‘known’ in this sense it is known forever after or until this same information is interpreted in a different way. Since the beginning information received through the senses has become more and more sophisticated. Information received by the eyes that tell us of redness probably does change but only after millennia. Other beliefs or information may not take so long to change such as the beliefs that change in each of us as we move from childhood to adulthood. Beliefs like the colours and sounds we experience do not need to change in the short term as they are practical and useful to us. Some beliefs we hold are not practical and useful and may even be dangerous for others or ourselves. In between there are beliefs that make little difference one way or the other like which is the best football team. Beliefs that are not practical and useful must inevitably end. Even in science it can be seen that beliefs about the universe and us have changed dramatically over the last few thousand years. There is no reason to assume these changes in beliefs will stop anytime soon. There is nothing practical or useful about any negative belief, in fact a negative belief is by definition a belief in something that is not true. What we call depression can be seen to be a cluster of negative beliefs about the world and ourselves that are clearly not true. Beliefs continue only so long as we believe they serve a useful purpose. Of course our belief that our beliefs serve a useful purpose can also be false. It does not matter whether or not we think our beliefs serve a useful purpose if the belief is negative it must end even if that end occurs at the end of our life. Holding a belief that is not true even though it serves no useful purpose can only occur because we want to hold that particular belief. This means that we are responsible for all our beliefs useful or not. The fact that we do not know why we believe something makes no difference as what ever it is that is wanted and believed will manifest itself in our life. The proof of this is in all our actions, try to do something you do not want to do, this is impossible for the moment you do something some part of you has already decided that this is what you wanted to do. Even our feelings are subject to this rule, if they are there, anger for instance; they are there because it is what we want even though we may no longer know why we want it. Although there is probably no god particle to be found, in some ways when beliefs become real through the potential of consciousness it is as though there really is a god particle, or more precisely we become god like in our ability to create our own reality. The problem with this god like ability to create our own reality is that most of the human race are unaware of this ability. Assume this is true and look around you and notice the infinitely varied realities that are being created, notice also how many of these realities are negative. The power to change our reality lies in what we want, if we want something negative you can be sure this is what we will get. Again the problem here is that we do not know that it is our own unconscious need for negative experiences that creates through the action of belief and consciousness our own personal reality. Observe the reality you create for yourself, look for the patterns that are always there, patterns of repeating the same mistakes over and over again and never seeming to learn. This ability to not learn from our mistakes is often mistaken for addictions. Not knowing that we create our own reality we make excuses for what we do and why we do it. Making excuses takes us away from responsibility and makes it increasingly difficult to rectify the situation. Be assured that whatever it is you want you already have, anything you want to change needs to be changed now and not in the future. Without awareness of what it is we really want it is impossible to change anything. The task then is to increase awareness of what it is we really want. There are many ways to increase awareness including meditation but the catch is we have to want that.